© Anthony Lawrence, aplawrence.com
My MacBook Pro came with an imbedded iSight camera, but you can buy external cameras very inexpensively. Apple's external iSight is only $149.00 at their store.
Once you have a camera, you need software to record with it. I downloaded the free QuickTime Broadcaster from Apple. That's really oriented toward live broadcasting from your computer, but it has a "Record to Disk" mode that creates QuickTime movie files.
I'm no expert at video (and no actor either), but as you can see, this wasn't hard to do:
(If you can't see the embedded movie above, try http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-552421969143473632).
In QuickTime broadcaster, I set the Network Transmission to Manual Unicast and the IP to 127.0.0.1. Under the Audio tab, I selected my USB Microphone and set the Gain to 100. I unchecked "Play through Speaker" to avoid feedback hum. Under Video, I chose the MPEG-4 Video compressor, set to 12 frames per second and a key frame every 100 frames. I unchecked the "Limit Data Rate" box. I was now ready to record after checking the "Record to disk" option.
Click "Broadcast" to start, "Stop" when done. Your movie will be in your Movies folder and named mymove.mov (mymovie2.mov, etc.).
The sound quality obviously isn't the greatest, and I look very inanimate. I'm sure you can do a far better job. I did this in short clips that I then imported into iMovie HD for final editing. iMovie HD is very easy to use (though I'm sure someone with more skill could improve this much more than I could).
Conclusion: making movies on your iSight equipped Mac is very easy. Try it!
I later found that I just needed to boost the Input and Output Volume for the "Line In" under System Preferences, Sound.
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